Location: Ransiki, West Papua, Indonesia
Varieties: Trinitario, Forastero
Fermentation Style: Wooden boxes
Drying Style: Indirect sun-dried on raised beds
Elevation: 26 meters
Soil Type: Andesite
Butter Fat Content: 52%
Cocoa cultivation in West Papua was introduced in the 1950s. Initially, the plant material consisted of Java-type Trinitario to which were added West African Amelonado descendants introduced from Sulawesi. Later, Trinitario seeds from Keravat were introduced from Papua New Guinea. In 1979, the British Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) established a 4,064 ha concession in Ransiki, in the northwest of the province. During its heydays the plantation covered around 1,785 Ha and produced over 2,000 tonnes of dried cacao. However, following a combination of ownership changes and lack of fresh investments the plantation had to be significantly downsized. With the help of local stakeholders the Ebier Suth (‘Unity to Arise’) Cokran Cooperative was established in 2017 and rehabilitated almost 300 hectares of the original plantation creating much needed jobs for the community.
The cooperative opened a chocolate boutique in May 2020 in Ransiki sponsored by Bank of Indonesia. The cooperative is an integral part of West Papua’s Green Growth program, which is focused on supporting the sustainable growth of food commodities incl. cacao, coffee, vanilla, various nuts and seaweed.
The team plans to rehabilitate approx. 1,000 Ha of the former plantation within the next 3-5 years. In addition, the Governor has laid the foundation for a new small chocolate factory on the grounds of the plantation, which will produce chocolate for the local Indonesian market. With this, the team hopes to create employment opportunities for the younger generation and strengthen the image of cacao as a local food crop.
An Eden in its own right, since their arrival in the 1800s, European researchers have recorded 110 mammal species, 350 butterfly species, and 320 species of bird in this area. The region benefits from an equatorial-type climate with a balanced distribution of rainfall throughout the year, a high solar radius, and the absence of strong winds. Trade winds do offer a breeze between July and September.